Benjamin Rosenbaum

Comments on "One Hundred and One Lullabies"

It's hard to determine its exact year, but "We Shall Overcome" makes an excellent lullaby, due to its repetitive structure and the infinite possibilities for impromptu verses.

Shawn Mullins' "Lullabye" is from 1998 and deserves mention.

"Airplane" by Mobius Donut was released in 2006, but maybe I'm cheating here, since my wife wrote the song. However, it really does make a beautiful lullabye.

Posted by Rebecca H at January 26, 2011 04:22 PM

It's not cheating, but how will I learn the song? It's not on YouTube, nor is the MP3 purchasable on Amazon... and I don't want to install iTunes. Hmm, ok, looks like I can stream it from

Posted by Benjamin Rosenbaum at January 26, 2011 04:43 PM

An few nominations:

1944 (or 1949): Baby it's Cold Outside (do you and Esther sing duets?) - love the Glee version:

1950: Luck be a Lady and

1952: Almost anything from Hans Christian Anderson, but especially Inchworm or Thumbalina

Posted by Jeanne at January 26, 2011 04:47 PM

Hmm.. could we cover 2008 with something from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog? And 2001 with something from the Buffy Musical? Need to ponder each to find the right candidates if you aren't familiar with either. :)

Posted by Jeanne at January 26, 2011 04:53 PM

This particular link heads to a song from 1907 performed by longtime Yosemite employee Tom Bopp, whom I love. He undoubtedly has some fun tunes from the 1910s, too, mostly ragtime piano tunes that I'm sure would slow down nicely.

Posted by Carolyn at January 26, 2011 05:14 PM

River likes "Straight Outta Compton" (though vocally it's Nina Gordon's cover version rather than NWAs original from 1988, so not sure how you'd date that)

He also likes "Crescent City" by Lucinda Williams, and "Happy Kid" by Nada Surf, though it's rather upbeat.

Posted by Tim Pratt at January 26, 2011 09:29 PM

Oh, and I, uh, altered the lyrics to Straight Outta Compton a bit, once he was old enough to go around repeating things... He likes "We 3" by Soul Asylum too.

Posted by Tim Pratt at January 26, 2011 09:30 PM

Musical theater is atemporal. It has it's own style of dress & it's own setting, neither of which are based on time.

Posted by glynda at January 26, 2011 10:13 PM

Contemporary song-wise, I really like Rhythm of Love by the Plain White T's that came out in 2010. I'm not entirely sure how appropriate the lyrics are for kids, but it's a nice melodic song.

And I totally know it's in Japanese, but I love this song from SMAP that came out in 2003. In Japanese it's Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake No Hana, which translates to "A Flower Unlike Any Other in The World". This video has Japanese and English lyric translation:

Posted by Jenny Rae Rappaport at January 26, 2011 11:29 PM

I will give some thought to this; I know there are some popular Yiddish lullabies that date to the teens, if you don't mind some schmaltz.

Have you listened to the new Natalie Merchant album? How would you categorize a 2010 melody for a poem written in 1920?


Posted by Vardibidian at January 27, 2011 02:14 AM

The tune that immediately came to mind for me is "What me worry" by St. Vincent.

Or maybe "All My Stars Aligned":

Both are from her 2007 album, which does take a bit of a jazzy turn halfway through.

Maybe the most fitting from the 2009 album is "The Bed", but it has lyricless interludes and might induce Dirty Harry fantasies.

(Okay, okay, moving on.)

Something from The Gentle Waves, maybe "Solace for the Pain". (2000)

Maybe a Villagers song (2010), like "Twenty Seven Strangers":

From REM, my best pick would probably be "At My Most Beautiful" (1998)

Well, that's probably more than enough from me, eh?

(In all cases lyrical appropriateness left to your judgment.)

Posted by jamesG at January 27, 2011 06:22 AM

An unorthodox suggestion maybe:

Shubidua, Vuggevisen.

Beginning of first verse:

Rest of first verse:


There's a small gap, because of a small solo in a every verse, but apart from that, easy to sing.

It's from 1979.

Posted by Lise A at January 27, 2011 11:41 AM

Hi Ben.

Can't resist putting my 2 in:

Irene Goodnight, around 1908, possible earlier; words are kind of depressing, but the tune is lovely:

1910, Carrie Jacobs-Bond:

Precious Memories, 1925:
(This is hard; most of that time period was either ragtime (no words) or early gospel- "Will the Circle be Unbroken," 1907, "I'll Fly Away")

There might be some Louis Armstrong stuff for the 30s..."Dream a Little Dream?" Wiki says 1931
either skip the bridges, or invite the kids to play air trumpet?

"Wise Men Say," 1961, maybe a bit late for your gap, covered by everyone from Joan Baez to UB40:

Katie Melua's Sailboat Song, because it lends itself to inventing one's own lyrics in the manner of "Every Breath You Take" (every lawn you rake, every stripy snake, etc.) (2007):

And loads of Irish songs (REAL ones), but it's difficult to be sure of the dates and they're probably pre-1900. Let me know if you're interested. Need one from 17th century (possibly earlier)? It's very pretty and turned up again in 2008 or so:
(don't let the uilleann pipes put you off, it works great a capella.)

Regina Spektor? (2008 or so):

"All the Roadrunning" (mark knopfler with emmylou harris):
or Border Reiver:

My dad used to sing
"Home, home on the range,
where the beer and the cantaloupes play.
Where seldom is heard
a disparaging word
and the skies are not crowded all day."

(The range, of course, being the thing we cooked dinner on, in the event that I asked.)

"When the moon hits your eye
like a big pizza pie
that's Amore."

I asked him what 'amore' was. He said "it's like an eel, only bigger." He loved to mess with my head :)

Happy singing.

Posted by susan at January 28, 2011 03:48 PM

How about "Bobby Shaftoe" which was a lullaby written to sing you and Shoshana to sleep? And what about Noah which is a slow tune excellent for a lullaby?

How quickly I am being forgotten while I am still here.

Posted by dmrose at January 30, 2011 03:46 AM

I wrote the first verse of Sheikah Lullaby in 2010, also performing it in that year. You can find the lyrics on http://www. northcastle. and the tune is Zelda's Theme, which can be downloaded from http://www. khinsider. com

Posted by Sheogorath at May 20, 2012 05:25 PM

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